Frontiers 4: Annual Environmental Law Colloquium
to Feb 7

Frontiers 4: Annual Environmental Law Colloquium

Save the date and call for papers

The National Environmental Law Association together with the Law Futures Centre of Griffith University and the University of Tasmania, Faculty of Law are pleased to announce the fourth annual colloquium of environmental law teachers and researchers will be held on Tuesday 6 February and Wednesday 7 February 2018

Colloquium Aims

The annual Frontiers in Environmental Law Colloquium provides a forum for environmental law teachers and researchers to share and discuss their ideas, research and teaching practices. Through a supportive forum, we aim to:

·      explore innovative ideas across our discipline;

·      contribute to the future of environmental law in our region;

·      foster collaboration amongst like-minded individuals; and

·      help researchers and academics to actively build their careers.

Colloquium Themes for 2018

Environmental law is a diverse field that draws on a wide range of legal traditions and techniques as well as inter-disciplinary knowledge. As in previous years, we invite papers that engage with the ideas of frontiers, boundaries and intersections in environmental law. 


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'Genetic Resources and Information:Finding Solutions for Equitable Access and Benefit Sharing' Workshop
8:30 AM08:30

'Genetic Resources and Information:Finding Solutions for Equitable Access and Benefit Sharing' Workshop

The Law Futures Centre (LFC) and the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA) are holding a free workshop to explore solutions to equitably sharing the benefits of information about genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity (and Nagoya Protocol), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together experts and practitioners to share their experiences with access and benefit sharing information about genetic resources with the prospect of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of practices.

The expected audience will be plant and animal breeders, public health practitioners, industry associations, research and development corporations, government departments, seed distributors and their representatives, agricultural sector advisers/consultants, intellectual property lawyers, and academics.


  • Professor John Benzie, Acting Head of Sustainable Aquaculture, WorldFish and Professor of Marine Molecular Biodiversity, University College Cork
  • Emily Carroll, Agricultural Productivity, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Ben Phillips, Director, Protected Areas Policy and Planning, Parks Australia
  • Dr Fran Humphries, Research Fellow, Law Futures Centre, Griffith Law school, Griffith University

Date:     Wednesday 6 December 2017

Time:     8.30am Registrations, 1.00pm Close

Venue:  Common Room, University House, The Australian National University, Canberra

Cost:    This is a free event

A preliminary draft program can be downloaded here.

Further information can be found on the ACIPA website.

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The Future of Ecological Governance and Regulation in Northern Australia Conference
to Nov 25

The Future of Ecological Governance and Regulation in Northern Australia Conference

The 2017 Annual Law Futures Centre Conference

24-25 November 2017, Ship Inn Function Centre, Southbank, Brisbane

Click Here to Register (button on lower right)
For more information, contact LFC Director, Don Anton

Aim and themes

The major aim of this Conference is to bring together all interested stakeholders – industry, government, Indigenous organisations, the legal profession, non-governmental organisations and the academe – to consider the legal and policy framework for Northern Australia’s ecological future. 

The conference themes will address four strategic areas for creating an effective legal and policy framework to secure a rich and robust northern ecological future: 1) governance; 2) regulation; 3) values in development; and 4) knowledge bases for policy and decision-making.  Each theme will serve as a platform for a round table discussion, followed by a thirty minute open discussion. Each round table will be led by a well-known moderator, with participation by 5 discussants. Below we list confirmed participants, with others to be advised.

These four themes form the basis of the Northern Australian Law Futures (NALF) Research Program. For background on the themes and involvement in the NALF Network visit:

LFC Conference Program 061117.jpg
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The Future of Small and Medium Enterprise in Australia
9:00 AM09:00

The Future of Small and Medium Enterprise in Australia

Griffith University's Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, the Law Futures Centre, and the Reform & Innovation in Policy, Practice & Legal Education (RIPPLE) group within the Griffith Business School are proud to host a symposium that will focus on the possible future challenges and opportunities for small and medium enterprise (SMEs) in Australia. In particular, it will consider recommendations about how Australia can ensure that this critical part of the economy will prosper. SMEs accounting for 99% of all businesses conducted in Australia, with small businesses contributing a third of gross domestic product and 46% of private sector employment. Governments are acutely aware of the importance of SMEs, introducing a number of reforms and strategies in an endeavour to assist the sector. However, the future for SMEs present a number of issues, such as the rise of the sharing economy, financial constraints, the growth of international opportunities, mooted tax reforms, succession planning and climate change. These issues can present both opportunities and challenges for SMEs; and navigating these will be a key for success in the future.

Venue: The Ship Inn Function Room
            Graduate Centre (S07), Level 2
            Griffith University South Bank campus
Cost:    Free to attend but places are limited
RSVP:            Thursday 2 November 2017

At the symposium you will hear from leading industry and academic speakers who will give insights about what the future for SMEs holds in Australia. Speakers will address the following topics for SMEs:

  •   Future of Growth;
  •   Future of Disruption;
  •   Future of Tax; and
  •   Future of Advice.
Please register here, or email with any dietary requirements.
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The Future of Legal Education Research
10:00 AM10:00

The Future of Legal Education Research


The Future of Legal Education Research

To Register, please email:

1 November 2017
SHIP INN, Stanley St & Sidon St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Legal education research in Australia faces many challenges. In an age of digital disruption, the legal profession and legal education itself are rapidly changing, and our student cohort is diversifying. This produces unprecedented opportunities and need for high quality legal education research and scholarship. At the same time, the environment for funding support for legal education researchhas become uncertain following the demise of previously available research funding sources.  This workshop, featuring leading Australian legal education researchers Professor Sally Kift, Associate Professor Kate Galloway and members of the Griffith Law Futures Centre will discuss both the challenges and the opportunities in the future of legal education research in Australia.

9.30-10am - Registration and Welcome
10-10.10 Welcome By Professor Don Anton, Director, Law Futures Centre
10.10-11 Presentation by Professor Sally Kift - Australian Legal Education in 2017: Taking Stock for an Uncertain Future 
11-11.50 Presentation by Kate Galloway - Digital Scholarship in Legal Education
11.50-12.30 Panel Discussion. 
12.30- 1pm Light lunch.


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Block to the Future: Initial Coin Offerings Masterclass
1:00 PM13:00

Block to the Future: Initial Coin Offerings Masterclass

ICO Masterclass
27 October 2017


Friday 27 October 2017, 1pm—5pm
Fishburners Brisbane, Queen Street Mall
Cost: $600 per delegate

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) have recently attracted billions of dollars of investment. The Law Futures Centre Blockchain Research Group has tracked more than 250 ICOs since 2016 and we know many more are in the pipeline. To some they represent the Wild West of new technologies. To others such as the SEC they probably need reining in before they get out of control.

This masterclass is designed to inform you about ICOs, to see how they are done, what the legalities are, whether they are right for you, and what the benefits and pitfalls of ICOs are:

  • Understand ICOs and blockchain technology
  • Learn the process of bringing token sale to market
  • Be aware of legal and regulatory (anti-money laundering, know your client) issues surrounding ICOs


  • Professor John Flood, Professor of Law and Society, Griffith University; Research Fellow, UCL Research Centre for Blockchain Technologies
  • Dr Adrian McCullagh, ODMOB Lawyers; Adjunct Research Fellow, Law Futures Centre
  • Bruce Parker, Director-Finance, Imagus Technology
  • Nick Heaney, Co-Founder, Skrilla and Puntaa
  • Jamie Skella, Co-Founder, Horizon State


  • What and why Initial Coin Offerings?
  • What are the advantages over venture capital funding?
  • What is blockchain and distributed ledger technology? Why is it important?
  • Role and types of cryptocurrency, exchanges, and wallets
  • Case study: Ethereum and Ether: what they are and why they are important for smart contracts, DAOs and ICOs
  • Case study: The DAO and SEC response
  • What is a token? How they differ from Ether and Bitcoin
  • What tokens represent and what they are not: Measure of value? Security? Voting rights? Tradability of tokens? Donations?
  • What do you want to do with tokens?
  • What is your token ecosystem?
  • How to structure token sale?
    • white papers and other disclosures
    • legal and regulatory issues
    • quantities and release of tokens
    • importance  of teams and advisory boards (financial, technical, legal, marketing, CRM)
  • How to cultivate your token community
  • How to manage token distributions
  • After a successful token sale, what next?
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6:30 PM18:30

Professor Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture by Professor Megan Davis

  • Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Courts Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We are delighted that this year Professor Megan Davis will give the Professor Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture.  The 2017 Lecture will cover "The United Nations, Indigenous Peoples and Australia: Why Australia is an international outlier on indigenous peoples rights". 

Internationally Australia is a high income country; affluent, peaceful with a strong and effective rule of law. However on the situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' and the recognition of Indigenous peoples rights, Australia is an outlier among comparative western liberal democratic states. And on structural accommodation Australia lags behind both developed and developing countries. One of the reasons for this is the failure to acknowledge and address the original grievance: the dispossession of Aboriginal peoples and the lack of recognition of pre- existing property rights and the authority structures of Aboriginal people. This lecture will analyse the paucity of Indigenous rights in Australia and how international norms and comparative Indigenous constitutional rights informed the historic constitutional dialogues and the Uluru national constitutional convention outcome on 26 May 2017.

Professor Davis is an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. Professor Davis is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the NSW Sentencing Council. She is the Chair and UN expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and holds portfolios including Administration of Justice and Gender and Women and is the focal point for UN Women and UN AIDS.  Professor Davis was the Rapporteur of the UN EGM on an Optional Protocol to the UNDRIP in 2015 as well as the author of a UNPFII study on a supervisory mechanism for UNDRIP (2014). She was also the UN Rapporteur for the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Rapporteur for the International EGM on Indigenous Youth.

Professor Davis researches in public law and public international law. Her current research focuses on constitutional design, democratic theory and Indigenous peoples. Megan is one of the CIs in an ARC project on the impact of extra-legal factors on the sentencing of Indigenous offenders of sexual abuse of Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory.

To register your RSVP, please email by Wednesday, 16 August 2017

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LAUNCH: Griffith Law Review Special Edition - Judicial decision-making and ‘outside’ extra-legal knowledge: Breaking down silos
5:30 PM17:30

LAUNCH: Griffith Law Review Special Edition - Judicial decision-making and ‘outside’ extra-legal knowledge: Breaking down silos

  • Supreme Court Library, Level 12, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This Special Edition of the Griffith Law Review on judicial decision-making will be of significant interest to judges, barristers and solicitors. It interrogates the role of knowledge from ‘outside’ of the law in judicial decision-making and spans diverse areas of law including crime, private law, family law and discrimination. The various authors consider the laws intersection with science, social science and philosophy and analyse how this manifests in different legal spheres.

Themes which emerge include the absence of a clear framework for the reception of outside knowledge, the individualisation of information to single cases created by adversarial system, judicial reliance on common sense assumptions and the expertise and training required to assess the validity and accuracy of information which may be placed before a court.

The papers suggest there is a judicial thirst to access resources relevant to their cases, and that significant benefits may flow, but at this stage there are still risks of lack of natural justice, selectivity and lack of expertise in interpretation of material.

Please join us for refreshments afterwards.

For catering, please RSVP:


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5:30 PM17:30

Professor Charles Lawson - Evening Seminar on Plant Breeders Rights

The 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) introduced the concept of “essentially derived varieties” (EDVs) expanding the scope of the plant breeder’s right. The purpose of EDVs was to limit “plagiarism”, “copycat breeding”, “mimics”, “imitations” or “cosmetic” varieties, and an unfair free riding on the original plant breeder’s time and investment. The problem is how to find a measure of difference to distinguish an EDV from a new variety? The presentation addresses why the threshold legal question of EDV is more than a mere quantitative technical question requiring a technical answer, such as a statistical index or a DNA sequence. The answer lies in the sciences of law and the laws of science ... maybe?

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Public Lecture: Hilary Charlesworth - Rights and Regulation
6:15 PM18:15

Public Lecture: Hilary Charlesworth - Rights and Regulation

Professor Hilary Charlesworth is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School and Distinguished Professor at the ANU.

Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law and international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law.

She is an associate member of the Institut de Droit International and served as judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case (2011-2014).

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Criminal Justice Symposium on DNA Evidence
4:45 PM16:45

Criminal Justice Symposium on DNA Evidence

  • Griffith University, South Bank (S05_2.04) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We have chosen the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom as the topic for this symposium as we consider that greater understanding of this type of evidence is an important issue in criminal justice. This symposium aims to ask and answer two main questions: (i) what do the statistics really mean; and (ii) in the interests of justice, should a standard be introduced that requires a threshold number of matching loci before DNA evidence is allowed to be admitted into the courtroom? 

This symposium aims to lift the veil on the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom by considering this vital issue for the criminal justice system in a manner that is comprehensible to a non-scientific audience. It will be of interest to legal and scientific professionals, journalists, academics and anyone interested in criminal justice. The event is intended to be interactive with the opportunity for questions and answers from attendees. 

RSVP: Email by Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Mr Peter Gleeson (Chair), Editor, Sunday Mail

The Honourable Justice Debra Mullins, Supreme Court of Queensland

Mr Saul Holt QC, Barrister, Queensland

Dr Brian McDonald, Director, DNA Consults, New South Wales

Ms Kirsty Wright, Senior Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University

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Public Lecture - Associate Professor Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato
6:15 PM18:15

Public Lecture - Associate Professor Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato

  • Griffith University Webb Centre (S02_7.16) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

New Zealand like many other commonwealth jurisdictions, including Australia, experience disproportionate incarceration rates for Indigenous peoples. Despite the raft of initiatives this rate has not altered. Academics such as Jeffries point to the government's failure to reduce offending rates, and calls for, amongst other provisions, a better court service. New Zealand currently holds a youth court on a Marae, conforming to traditional customs and practices. This initiative has not only led to a reduction in recidivism rates but a proliferation of Marae Courts throughout New Zealand. In light of this success, together with the imminent 10 year celebration of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is timely to consider whether such an initiative should extend to adult offenders as a step towards a form of self-determination.

Dr Valmaine Toki is an Associate Professor in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Waikato. Prior to joining the University of Waikato, Valmaine taught and researched at the University of Auckland's Law School. Valmaine is the first New Zealander appointed to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Her research interests lie primarilyin the area of Indigenous rights.

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Public Lecture - Professor Fleur Johns, UNSW
6:15 PM18:15

Public Lecture - Professor Fleur Johns, UNSW

  • Griffith University QCA Lecture Theatre (S05_2.04) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Territoriality is a powerful architecture of association in international law, performing significant bounding, distributive and placement functions. Yet it has always interacted with other global legal architectures of affiliation and disaffiliation, among them informational geographies. So what becomes of territoriality amid the turn to data analytics – the automated analysis of massive, distributed data sets – as a basis for international legal and policy decision, action, thinking, and prediction? This talk canvasses some processes and practices already underway on the global plane that are effecting, on one hand, the “datafication” of territory (and the related rise of a logic of association) and, on the other, the “territorialisation” of data (and the emergence or recurrence of “data territories”) in international legal order. Through these kinds of processes, and in its variable configurations, data might yet parallel physical territory (landed and maritime) as a primary medium for the conduct of juridical global life and conflict, a prospect that raises important questions for international law and lawyers.

Fleur Johns is Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney, working in public international law and legal theory. Fleur’s work has focused, in particular, on public-private power and norms, and contending styles of governance, in cross-border finance, humanitarian aid, development, and military conflict. Currently, her research is focused on the politico-legal implications of introducing data science to decision making in international humanitarian and development work. Her publications include four books, among them The Mekong: A Socio-legal Approach to River Basin Development (co-authored with Ben Boer, Philip Hirsch, Ben Saul & Natalia Scurrah, Routledge, 2016) and Non-Legality in International Law: Unruly Law (Cambridge, 2013). Previously Co-Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney, Fleur has also had a number of visiting appointments worldwide (most recently, at the LSE (UK), the European University Institute (Italy), and the University of Toronto (Canada)) and has a background as a New York corporate lawyer. She has worked part-time for a large part of her career to allow for care responsibilities. Fleur is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (BA, LLB(Hons)) and Harvard University (LLM, SJD; Menzies Scholar; Laylin Prize).

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